When kids hear about an opportunity to be spent outdoors, they are thrilled and filled with excitement. The playground is the favourite place for kids because it is located outdoors. Every kid loves the outdoors. But as parents, we are more concerned about their safety.
It’s essential for childrens development to have fun and wonderful experiences outdoors. It helps relieve them of boredom and they are less likely to be calmer indoors, saving house and belongings from little destructive hands.
The safety of children is of utmost importance. We’ve therefore handpick materials for children to enjoy playtime as safetly as possible.
There are many materials that are obviously not suitable for a kid’s playground. These types of materials include concrete or stones which can leed to nasty injuries when children inevitably fall over. We’re looking at materials we’d recommend for playground surfaces are what we try to look at in this article.
Sand is the most affordable and easily available source of material for a playground surface. It used to be the most popular material, but with the safety challenges it possesses, parents find they would rather settle for new and improved forms of material.
Sharp objects can be hidden in the sand and it can also harden after it rains. Aside from that, pets often use sand as a litter tray causing serious issues with health and hygene. Then there’s the issue of sand getting into kid’s eyes and mouth, causing fun play time to quickly descend into a visit to the doctors. Many parents also find the mess difficult to cope with, as sand is easily traipsed all over the garden and into the home.
Pea gravel provides a natural appearance that is almost like the sand and looks good in a play ground, although it has smaller particles in comparison to sand. It is affordable with minimal maintenance requirements and installation is easy. Plus it helps in the control of plant growth. Although as with sand one of the challenge it possesses is that kids might swallow it, plus we feel it is not a safe, soft and comfortable landing.
Synthetic grass as a material for playground surfaces has risen in popularity over the last few year. Although it can work out expensive and will need to be placed on a flat surface, it is easy to maintain, comes in different colours and a lot safer for kids to land on as they have a cushioned surface. Compared to sand and pea gravel it’s also a lot easier to notice possible harmful objects and maintain the grass.
It has good level of friction to minimise slips and fall but there is an issue with it not withstanding heat. This might cause it to be hot to touch, and kids will need it to cooled off before they’re able to play on it. Although with the simple sprinkling of water on the surface, it can cool off within a short period of time.
Engineered wood fibre (EWF)
Engineered wood fibre is made from strands and fibre of the wood. It is environmentally friendly. It provides a soft landing for the kids and helps to prevent frequent slips. It is weather tolerant and very affordable same as with the composite decking material that is resistant to rot and insect damage, therefore great as a material for playground surfaces.
Do be aware though that is does requires a high level of maintenance and it can be very difficult to identify sharp and harmful objects within it. It is biodegradable, which means it will require replacement and care must be taken in securing engineered wood fibre some are sourced from and made from contaminated wood.
Poured rubber and rubber tiles
Recently, the use of poured rubber and rubber tiles has been growing at an increasing rate as a material for playground surfaces. They are highly resistant to slips and requires minimal maintenance. They provide an even playing surface with high drainage ability, enabling water from rain and water games to disperse easily. For attractiveness, they come in a different colour patterns that the kids will also love. It provides a safe landing for kids, but it can work out very expensive.